Unpotted pickups.

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by somedude, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. somedude

    somedude Member

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    I'm thinking about switching to unpotted pickups.

    I use a 30w Orange AD with the gain between 3 and 4 and the master volume on 10, and occasionally use an LTD to push the front end for a bit more dirt.

    I'm told that the Plexi guys can run a good set of unpotted pickups just find without squeeling.

    Do you guys think they'll be ok? Or am I asking for trouble?


    Also, I'm thinking about a Fuzz Face. Definatly asking for trouble?
     
  2. carbz

    carbz Member

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    If you use very little gain you could probably get away with it but I don't see what the advantage would be?
     
  3. Junior

    Junior Member

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    The advantage is the microphonic effect picks up the tone of the wood better. With a '69 Goldtop, I'm betting he's got some tone to pick up. And no, with those amp settings he's not going for 'gain'.
     
  4. theirflowers21

    theirflowers21 Supporting Member

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    In my expiriences, unpotted pickups seem to be a more sensitive. Slight picking differences seem to jump out a little more. Ive tried to Seymour Duncan Seth Lover's and the unpotted one had a little more going on. I have played it with some pretty high gain and never gotten any squeals. I would assume a well made pickup would hold up well under gain.
     
  5. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    I think that if the windings in your pickups are loose at all, unpotted pickups are going to make your life real difficult.

    Some guitars are feedback prone all on there own. Even with potted pickups.

    I think it'll make a huge difference who winds the pickups.

    Pete
     
  6. kealiikai

    kealiikai Member

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    My Wolfetone Marshallhead pickups hold up pretty well in the high gain territory. If I go past 8 with the gain on the lead channel of my Mark IV it will squeal when not playing but still manageable.:AOK
     
  7. Janglin_Jack

    Janglin_Jack Member

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    I have used Duncan PU that were unpotted. I didn't find a problem with them. I guess it depends on the type of guitar and amp, etc. But I don't think potting is the only consideration for feedback. I think you would be OK with the settings you mentioned, but don't hold me to it.:AOK

    Jack
     
  8. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Pickups were potted for a reason. We have so much sound support technology available now that you can choose whether you use potted or not and still have all the versatillity you want. I bet Jimmy Page would have loved to play stadiums with just his supro amp on stage in '70. He could today...
     
  9. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

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    I find that the metal parts underneath like the magnet and screw bobbin spacer can cause squealing, putting some wax on these parts can help a lot. Also, mounting the cover on very tight helps (if you run covers). I use a small clamp to squeeze the cover on before soldering it on.
     
  10. CADdrafter

    CADdrafter Senior Member

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    i'm running a set of Seymour Duncan Antiquity buckers in my Paul into my '59 Bassman.

    the only time the pups squealed was when i had the amp cooking and bent down direcctly in front of it with my guitar to adjust some settings.
     
  11. somedude

    somedude Member

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    That's the thought.

    And no, I'm not really going for gain as I rely on volume for my sound. I dime the volume and set the gain so that it overdrives chords when I bare down hard and chords cleanly when I lighten up my attack. I'm looking at the Fuzz Face for some classic 'high gain' type riffing/leads.

    I'm looking at Duncan Seth Lovers or Bare Knuckle Mules.

    I remember reading a review awhile ago that said the unpotted Gibsons were very microphonic, but the Duncan Seth/Ants didn't squeel at all....that's sorta what had me thinking about this.

    Sans covers....more 'Rawk!'. :RoCkIn
     
  12. Macleod

    Macleod Member

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    I've found that squeal issues are largly due to poor taping and securing of the coils, not neccesarily how loosly the coils are wound. In my Marshallhead and Dr.V pickups, the coils are wond VERY loosely, so they're nice and spongy to get the kind of responsiveness I'm after. But, we do an excellent job of taping up the coils, so that no winds are loose and poking out of the tape.
     
  13. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    I love the Duncan Seth Lovers (unpotted) in my PRS Archtop Spruce. While they are not ideal for high gain / high volume applications, they have a three dimensional sound I have not heard in a potted pickup. It really depends on your application.
     
  14. stratlad

    stratlad Member

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    I have Seths and haven't had problems (not that I play that loud). However I did have a set of unpotted Burstbuckers and they squealed a bit. May depend on the pickup.
     
  15. johnny q

    johnny q Member

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    I dont know man - I have tried 3 different sets of unpotted p'ups and although I agree they do sound noticeably better, I just cant use em' at band volumes. I play either a 100 watt 1972 super lead or a Germino lead 55, volumes at about 7-8, and they(the p'ups) are all unusable. I have yet to try Wolf's, but its seems he takes a few extra steps to insure this doesnt happen, and I have heard others suggest that complete immersion in wax is not the answer, but a good tape job and perhaps silicon under the cover, or even just a tightly installed cover will do the trick.

    Now - WCR p'ups, thats a totally different story!! He uses no wax, he uses a proprietary potting method that allows the coils to vibrate, but with zero squeal. I cant make his pickup squeal if I tried, but yet it still has the harmonic swirl, overtones and trails off into feedback just as good as any unpotted vintage type bucker I ever had.

    Sigh.........sometimes I wish I was a jazz player who didnt rely on cranked amp tones!:)
     

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